Lady Rebels are AISA AA girls basketball state champs
Published 7:29 pm Tuesday, February 18, 2014
By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal
The Lowndes Academy Lady Rebels took care of some unfinished business Tuesday at Huntingdon College.
After finishing runner-up to Pickens Academy in 2013, the Lady Rebels fought their way back to the AISA AA girls varsity state basketball championship game for 2014 and defeated Pickens Academy 39-36 Tuesday in overtime.
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Abby Ray scored 12 points to lead the Lady Rebels while Khaki Gaston scored 10 points and Abby Pitts scored six.
The Lowndes Academy Lady Rebels completed their successful 2014 campaign with a 20-4 overall record.
In the championship contest, the Lady Rebels led 20-11 at the half, but their lead was just four points at the end of the third period 27-23. And the score was tied at 36-36 at the end of regulation.
With the Lady Rebels clinging to just a two-point lead with 10.2 seconds left in overtime, Carmen Till made one of two free throws to make it a three-point lead. And the Lowndes Academy Lady Rebels held on for the win.
Lowndes Academy Lady Rebels head basketball coach Jeff Lovell said his team knew that Pickens Academy, who beat them last year for the title, were well coached would come to play.
He also said, “I think we probably put a little more pressure on ourselves than we should have, being here last year and feeling like we gave one away.” And he said his team felt it should win this year.
But Lovell said he “couldn’t be more proud” of his team’s effort.
He said the reason Lady Rebel Abby Pitts was named Tournament Most Valuable Player was “every player that we ever played that was a top scorer, she’s guarded them. And she did a magnificent job again here tonight.”
Pitts said of getting the championship, “It’s just something that we wanted… We knew it would be hard to get back here… We had to get them (Pickens Academy) back, So, it felt good.”
As to being named Tournament MVP, she said, “I honestly did not see that coming at all. It’s an honor, it really is.”
Named to the AISA AA varsity girls basketball All-Tournament Team were from Wilcox Academy, Mandy Jordan, from Coosa Valley Academy, Danielle Richardson, from Pickens Academy, Kacy Noland and Anna Cockrell, and from Lowndes Academy, Mallory McCurdy, Khaki Gaston and All-Tournament MVP Abby Pitts.